Performance

Even if you like the looks inside and out Ч which many likely will Ч there is nothing endearing about the driving experience.

First there's the body-lean issue. When you take a highway off-ramp at speed Ч which the Consumer ReportsТ test does Ч the GX leans at a significant angle. I don't recall experiencing a lean so extreme since I've been testing cars professionally, which includes most of the past decade.

If you're an attentive and safe driver, you should have no trouble navigating tight corners in the GX. But then you're still left with an anemic 301-horsepower V-8 engine that's saddled by all the weight mentioned above. Its power rating is nearly identical to the 300-hp V-6 MDX, but it's less fuel-efficient. The GX is rated at 15/20 mpg city/highway, while the MDX gets 16/21 mpg.

The GX lumbers down the highway and barely musters a grunt when passing other cars. Brake feel is soft and somewhat mushy, an attribute shared by many Lexus and Toyota models. In a large SUV, though, it's more unsettling.

While the high ride reminds me of driving a truck, the GX rides better than your typical pickup. Because of extensive work to make the GX off-road capable, however, it doesn't sail down the freeway like the larger LX, or like the MDX or Lincoln MKT. It's noisier at highway speeds, too, and takes bumps at slow speeds with more body motion than you'd expect. Again, this is something at which the Lexus LX excels.

To recap, the GX neither rides, accelerates, turns nor brakes very well.

    See also:

    Customizable features
    Your vehicle includes a variety of electronic features that can be personalized to suit your preferences. Programming of these preferences can be performed by your Lexus dealer. It is also possib ...

    Lexus ES 350 Review
    Few premium automotive brands have as varied a lineup as Lexus does. Instead of offering one entry-level luxury sedan, Lexus offers two. For buyers who put highest priority on comfort and luxury, ...

    2011 Lexus RX 350
    After a week test-driving the 2011 Lexus RX 350, a headline in the Wall Street Journal's April 18, 2011, edition caught my eye: "Lexus Falls Behind Rivals." The timing of this article wa ...